Ah Puch (Ahpuch, Ahal Puh, Ah-Puchah) (to melt, to dissolve, to spoil) In Mayan mythology, god of death, the destroyer, ruler of the lowest of the nine underworlds (Hunhau), where he is chief Demon. Ah Puch was the patron god of the number 10, the horrible Mitnal. He was associated with three Mayan symbols of death: the dog, the Moan bird, and the owl.
In ancient Mayan mythology Ah Puch was associated with the god of war. Sometimes Ah Puch is identified by scholars with A of the Mayan letter gods. Today Ah Puch is known in the folklore of the Mayans as Yum Cimil (lord of death). He is believed to prowl about, causing sickness and death. In Mayan art Ah Puch is portrayed as a skeleton and often a bloated body with decaying flesh. He holds in his hands a skull, symbol of death.
From the Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante